Going to the gym can be nerve-racking, regardless of your body type or fitness level. If you’ve ever talked to a crossfit person, you know how dogmatic and cliquey people can be about their workout routines. Our all-or-nothing, “body-hacking” culture can make the gym an intimidating place for people who aren’t interested in getting ripped, make gains, or starting their own “fitspiration” instagram account.
Maybe your idea of exercise isn’t slipping mid-Asana on your own sweat and tears in front of an entire class of yogis, or spinning to the latest Rhianna until you puke. Maybe you’d just like to have a bit of a schvitz, regulate your sleep, and keep your heart healthy. Or maybe, like me, you have a gym membership, but it’s freezing and wet outside and you’d rather stay in and listen to the latest episode of Serial.
You don’t have to be a fitness freak or a gym rat to get your sweat on in the privacy of your own home! I’ve curated my favourite “indoor kid” resources to help you stay healthy without stepping foot outdoors.
Free Fitness Apps
Google Fit – if you’ve got an android phone, you can track your activities (walking, running, and biking) and you mark your progress with daily activity summaries.
Cardiograph by MacroPinch – reviews indicate that the heart rate readings are erratic and sometimes inaccurate. Be sure to test it a few times, and take readings with a grain of salt. The ability to record your resting and acting heart rate over time is pretty useful, though, for those of us interested in improving cardiovascular health.
Daily Workouts FREE from Daily Workout Apps, LLC – sure, the logo looks like it was designed on MS paint, but the app is actually really useful; just choose your focus (arms, legs, abs, cardio) and preferred difficulty level, and the app leads you through a timed circuit of equipment-free exercises.
Equipment-Free Exercises for legs/glutes
Calf Raises – Try it with a chair first, then without. You can also do this on the edge of a step. Work your way up to doing it with weights, then with your feet further apart, while squatting.
Single-Leg Deadlifts – They’re tougher than they appear. It takes a lot of balance and core strength, so go slowly and concentrate!
Kick-Backs – Start from a “table top” position, with your back straight, legs hip-length apart and your arms shoulder-length apart.
Squats – I still struggle with proper form for squats, because a combination of lower-spine scoliosis and a big ol’ booty makes it almost impossible to tell whether I’m arching.
Equipment-Free Exercises for arms
Pushups – pretty self-explanatory. Do them off of a wall or on your knees to start and work your way up to the full plank version.
Punching pillows – (effigy of your mortal enemy: optional)
Arm circles – also pretty self-explanatory, but just in case watch this .gif.
Equipment-Free Exercises for core/abs
Invisible Chair Squat – try holding this pose against a wall at first, then without a wall when you feel strong enough
Modified Plank – make sure to keep your butt down and pull your belly button into your spine. Start on your knees and work your way up to a full plank.
Modified Side-Plank – make sure tokeep your butt down and pull your belly button into your spine. Start on your knees and work your way up to a full plank.
Bicycle crunches – careful not to propel yourself by pulling with your neck!
Equipment-Free Exercises for cardio
Jumping Jacks – you know, like the ones you did in gym class (without the embarrassing onlookers)
Dancing – you know you’ve been doing this to all alone in your apartment, anyway…
Stair climbing – if you’re all fancy and have stairs at home, this one is a no-brainer!
Burpees – these are tough but a great full-body workout:
The Cheap Equipment I like to use:
The Unconventional Equiment I like to use:
Jugs full of water or change – good for curls
Walls – good for modified pushups, invisible chair poses, and general back alignment
Chairs – good for modified pushups, leg stretches, and calf raises
Tags: fit and fat, fitness for all, HaES, health, homebody, homebody's guide to fitness